Article Date: 11/1/2005

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lessons learned

Some things are just too good to throw out.

You may recall a story from the late Alan King that I told not too long ago:

"Eat your vegetables," King's father told him when he was a child.

"Why?" asked King.

"Because they're good for you."

"Why are they good for me?"

"Because I'm gonna whop you upside the head if you don't eat them!"          

Like King, my childhood occurred in the 1930's at the height of the Depression. Money was scarce, and my parents, like his, preached that nothing should be wasted. So entrenched became this idea, that even today under more affluent circumstances, I find that it's difficult to discard or waste anything.  

Didn't make it

So this column is made up of material I wrote that didn't make the pages of Optometric Management, but that I cannot bring myself to throw away. Some were caused by cuts to make my column fit the page, some are things for which I couldn't find space, and some are stories that were sent to me after the subject had already been covered.

Indulgent readers may remember my September column on communication difficulties caused by Mondegreens (defined as mishearings, particularly by children, of popular phrases or song lyrics). Not making the cut an observation by columnist Jon Carroll, who collects Mondegreens:

"The pledge of allegiance is such a hotbed of Mondegreens that one could create a composite of submitted entries: 'I pledge a lesion to the flag, of the United States of American, and to the republic for Richard Stans, one naked individual, with liver tea and just this for all.'"

Also not making the cut was a Mondegreen regarding a preacher's son who was conducting a funeral service for his dead turtle. Misinterpreting his father's use in funeral services of, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost," he "gravely" intoned at the close of the turtle service, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and into the hole he goes!"

"We say a Hail Mary before meals," writes Dr. Mark Schmidt. "My twin daughters used to say, 'Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord's a sissy' (their mishearing of 'the Lord is with me')."   

Theological squabble

I also pointed out in the Mondegreen column that God's first name had been established for some children by the statement in the Lord's Prayer, "Harold be thy name." In the interest of fairness, I must point out further information I have received indicates there is a schism on this belief among juvenile theologians.

Another sect of youngsters maintain that God's first name is "Andy." They cite as proof the old hymn, which goes:

"Andy walked with me,

Andy talked with me,

Andy told me I am his own."

Strange things

In July I wrote of strange things that can happen to doctors. Deleted from this column was the delightful and true story about a local physician, whose dog vomited in the back seat of his car. After taking the dog home, he drove to his service station to ask them to clean out the back seat.

He decided it might sound better to tell them one of his children had thrown up, rather than his dog. When he had thus advised the attendant, he noted that the man kept staring into the back seat with a strange look on his face.

Turning around to see what he was looking at, the doctor discovered something indeed worth a stare — in the middle of the regurgitated mess was a half-eaten small bird, feathers and all.

Optometric Management, Issue: November 2005